Online Resources for Lab Classes 

A person using MacBook Pro. Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash.Harvard Lab Exchange: 

This is a collection of online resources from many different places. Includes some good simulations, but the site is not curated well. It requires some digging to get to good simulations. Most of the content consists of recorded lectures. Harvard has also created what they call pathways that mix video content and simulation into an integrated lesson. See an example of a pathway on Gel Electrophoresis.

Some simulations require free edX/LabXchange account registration .

PHET – Physics Education Technology: 

Contains good originally produced content, but there are some compatibility issues. Some of the older simulations require Flash or Java. The HTML 5 simulations will run on any browser and in the PHET App available in iTunes and Android store. One of the best features of this platform are the community supplied assignments that go along with each simulation.  

QuVis – Quantum Mechanics Visualization Project: 

This is very good source of simulations for a narrow set of topics in physics. All of the content is originally produced and is delivered via flash and HTML 5 in a browser. The Flash simulations require some user input to allow flash to run and this varies by browser.  


Lab4U leverages the accelerometer and camera in smart phones to make measurements for lab experiments. It includes 25 lab experiences that guide students through inquiry based experiments. Costs money $29/student and more for teacher portalThis is a nice idea for certain types of basic physics experiments, but alternative options are available for the types of measurements. Free phone based accelerometer apps for examples: AccelMeter and iSeismo 


60 very well thought out simulations mostly about biology and chemistry that offer VR options. Time consuming setup and integration make this unrealistic for our current situation. Pricing has been requested.  

Virtual Labs of India: 

120 virtual labs with 900 experiments on electronics, computer science, electrical engineering, mechanical Engineering, chemical engineering, biotech, civil engineering, physical sciences, and chemical sciences. Site is not secure and all simulation use Flash. Simulations are rudimentary and not intuitive.  


Merlot has a few key features. It is primarily an OER search tool with over 80,000 items in its database. There are all types of educational resources including simulations. It also has a free website builder for creating and hosting educational websites. There is a free ePortfolio tool for creating and sharing an entire course. It is an expansive site with excellent search features. This site is a good first step to finding content. There are helpful Community Portals that curate content academic disciplines, and academic support topics 

Here is a link to content filtered by college level simulations: Link 


This site contains a curated collection of video content on Biology related topics. Type of content include research talks, interviews, short instruction, as well as entire courses. The content looks and sounds good and appears to be originally produced. The content made for undergraduate and higher. There are no simulations, but this site could be useful for virtual learning. 

Chem Collective:

“…the ChemCollective’s goals are to support a community of instructors interested in improving chemistry education through interactive and engaging online activities.” Problem sets, interactive simulations, and video tutorials for a wide range of chemistry topics. Many simulations converted to HTML5 but many are still java based and will not load in modern browsers. 

Jove:  WLU Access:

Journal of Visualized Experiments contains two parts: JoVE Video Journal and JoVE Science Education Library. The first part is a peer-reviewed, PubMed-indexed video methods journal. The Science Education library contains “…simple, easy-to-understand video demonstrations cover a wide range of STEM subjects including Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Psychology, Clinical Medicine and Engineering.” This site contains very high quality that normally requires a subscription which the W&L library does not have. However, they are currently offering free subscriptions of some of their content to institutions affected by Covid19. Access this site using the following link:


This site contains around 60 math and physics applets. They were originally created in Java but the creator claims most have been converted to java script. Every app that we tested worked fine in chrome and on iOs.  The applets robust and are well documented. Topics include: Oscillations and Waves, Acoustics, Signal Processing, Electricity and Magnetism: Statics, Electrodynamics, Electrodynamics, quantum mechanics, Linear Algebra, thermodynamics and others.  

MIT Open Courseware:

This site contain 2400 full courses on a wide variety of topics. Most include full course materials for download. All open – free to download.